South Korean CDMO consolidates, plants flag in California

AMPACplantPetersburgVA
South Korea's SK Holdings is consolidating its operations in the EU, Korea and the U.S. into a new CDMO unit, SK Pharmteco. This plant in Petersburg, Virginia, is one of four the company picked up when it acquired Ampac last year. (SK Holdings)

South Korean conglomerate SK Holdings jumped decidedly into contract manufacturing a couple of years ago with deals for API plants in Ireland and the U.S. Now, it is rolling those into a group that includes its plant in South Korea in hopes of becoming a key player in the business.

The drugmaker over the weekend said it is merging its SK biotek in Korea and SK biotek in Ireland along with Ampac Fine Chemicals in the U.S. to form SK Pharmteco, the Korea Biomedical Review reports. It has named Aslam Malik, CEO of Ampac, to head the CDMO and established its headquarters in Sacramento, California.

RELATED: Bristol-Myers selling Ireland plant to South Korean company with large aspirations

SK Pharmteco believes the integration will help it attract customers and sharpen its competitive edge, the report said. 

SK, which had been an ingredient supplier to Bristol-Myers Squibb, last year snapped up a BMS plant in Swords, Ireland, with 300 employees for an undisclosed sum. Under the deal, SK agreed to continue to produce the products BMS made at the plant, which included the API for BMS and Pfizer’s anticoagulant Eliquis.

A month later, it closed a deal to buy Ampac, a U.S. contract manufacturer that makes APIs for controlled substances, among other things. That gave SK a network of U.S. facilities in Rancho Cordova and El Dorado Hills in California; La Porte, Texas; and Petersburg, Virginia.

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